After a week long strike that saw some 240 sites being picket by TEEU members the union has instructed the 10,500 strikers to return to work, following the decision of the Labour Court to recommend a 4.9% deal – to be paid in two installments; 2.5% in September and 2.4% in January. But, it would be a mistake to suggest that the dispute is over and done with.

The TEEU strike, that started Monday, might well represent a new sharp turn in the course of events. The 10,500 electricians punch well above their weight; they have industrial power beyond their numbers. They can stop constructions sites and factories nationwide. They deserve the full backing of the whole of the Irish labour movement.

The spending cuts recommended by An Bord Snip Nue will this time be extended to the unemployed and to child benefits. They reveal once more the class nature of the state and the FF/Green government. They will provoke a general reduction in living standards of workers. To reverse these attacks, unions must stop wasting precious time in useless negotiations with the government and start mobilising.

Irish civil servants face wholesale restructuring and even the closure of some departments. Public sector pay is also threatened. The An Bord Snip report, yet to be officially published, is a recipe for class conflict and the trade unions should act accordingly.

We share the revulsion of the hundreds of Belfast workers who demonstrated on the Lisburn Road against these racist attacks in Belgravia Avenue and Wellesley Avenue over the last week. We applaud the efforts of those workers who gathered together and offered their moral and practical support to the Roma people who were forced from their homes by the fascist thugs using the name of Combat 18 – the British fascist terror group.

The elections in Ireland revealed a historical opportunity for the left if the correct approach and ideas are adopted. In Dublin, in particular, there was a marked shift to the left. Now the workers will expect some real change from the left, which however is only possible by changing the right-wing reformist policies of the Labour Party, and building a united front of the left wherever possible.

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